There is a report coming from Buffalo that the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers are working on a trade that could involve Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek going to the Oilers for a package centered around Nail Yakupov. Right now this is mostly speculation and there are several hurdles to such a deal, not the least of which is the Oilers being on Miller’s limited no-trade clause.
The Oilers are definitely a team on the rise but they lack the goaltender necessary to make a deep run in the playoffs at this time. The Oilers could certainly use a player of Miller’s caliber. However, there are too many obstacles to make this deal work.
Why would Miller agree to waive his no-trade clause to go to Edmonton? Even if he did, why would the Oilers be willing to trade a player with as much promise of Yakupov for a goalie who could be a free agent at the end of the year? Would Miller agree to waive his no-trade clause and agree to sign an extension when he could make infinitely more money on the open market?
There is a ton to overcome. This deal makes less sense from the Oilers’ standpoint. Why give up a player who could be a franchise cornerstone for years for a possible rental? If Yakupov is part of the deal then there is no way Vanek would be the only player the Oilers would be getting in return. Vanek is a good player, a veteran leader, but he isn’t worth a Yakupov.
From a Sabres’ standpoint this might make a ton of sense. Ship out Miller, who might leave at the end of the year anyway, for a young cornerstone. In fact, it makes too much sense for the Sabres which is why there is probably nothing to this deal.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the two sides aren’t talking. Miller could waive his no-trade clause and sign a long-term deal. The Oilers could decide that Yakupov is worth the stability in net. Then again, is a 33-year-old Miller really the answer the Oilers need in net or can they get a younger goalie?
This is an interesting rumor and one worth keeping an eye on. It probably won’t happen but if it does it could set an early tone in the NHL for this season.